Many residents who have grown up in Crescent Head and the surrounding areas will remember the fibro house on Stewart Street that hasn’t changed much in 150 years.
Shane Stedman sure does, his great-grandfather, AJ Druitt, built the house along the Macleay River before moving it to Crescent Head in 1863.
It was one of the first houses in the village and over time the town has grown around it.
Shane’s grandfather took over the the lease of the house from his own father and paid 100 pounds for the 99 year freehold lease.
His grandfather added covered verandas while he was living in the house, the only renovations that have taken place since it was built.
Shane lived in the house from when he was three to 12 years old in the 40s and vividly remembers what it was like.
“We could walk up the track behind the house and get to the top of the hill and look over Back Beach, there were no houses up on the hill then. We used to have picnics over there when I was young,” Shane said.
“The wind just blows through this house though, I remember that and I remember that my mother hated it.”
Shane’s mother built a house and moved out with her two sons when Shane was 12, but he said his grandfather was always up in the house on Stewart Street working on something.
“He was always fixing something up there, I can remember him tinkering with different things all the time.”
When Shane’s grandfather got sick and the lease was taken over by his mother, they then began to rent the house out to families.
This, Shane said, is why many locals have come up to him when they’ve seen the beginnings of a construction site around the house, because they lived in the house when they were young too.
“So many people have come up to me and asked ‘you’re not, are you?’ and I have just said ‘yep I am.’ People can remember living in the house for a few years while we were renting it out. It’s had a lot of families go through it.”
“There’s been a lot of locals who lived in the house growing up.”
The house is not completely being torn down, but it is getting a makeover.
“The original footprint of the house will stay the same, but we’re adding a second storey and a garage underneath which will make it a three-storey house,” Shane said.
“The council and neighbours have been really great with the plans we have for the property, they’ve made it easy.”
The decision was made due to an infestation of white ants.
“It’s either I do it, or the white ants will,” Shane said.
The renovations are set to be finished in two years and then Shane will rent it out as a holiday house, but said he will never sell it.
“It’s part of Crescent Head. I could never sell it.”